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E-Marketing Performance Blog

How to Turn Top Rankings Into Traffic

Many people want to know how to turn top search engine rankings into traffic. After all, if you rank it they will come, right? Well, not necessarily. Not all top rankings are created equal!

Because of the numerous factors involved there is no accurate way to predict how many clicks any one particular top ranking can actually achieve. But there are ways to be sure that your top rankings will receive the most amount of traffic possible.

Choose Relevant Keywords
Keyword relevancy is especially important. If what your site offers is does not pertain to the search performed, even the highest ranked keywords will produce very little traffic. Often time’s keywords are improperly chosen because they relate to the general industry rather than the specific nature of the product or service offered. For example, if you sell wedding gowns you might want to target the keyword “weddings”. This may seem like a natural choice, however there is very little chance that the searcher is specifically seeking what you offer. It is just as likely that they might be looking for wedding cakes, wedding tuxedos, wedding photographer, wedding decorations, wedding ideas, wedding vows… you get the picture.

Create Accurate Titles and Descriptions
Titles and descriptions serve one main purpose: Entice the searcher to click into your site. A top ranking alone is not enough to do this. Lets say you have a top ranking for the term “cloth diaper” but your title in the search engine results says “We sell baby stuff.”, lets also assume that the ranking just below yours states “Cloth diapers sold here”. Even though you rank higher, the more accurate title and description will be more compelling to the searcher.

Analyze Competing Websites
There is not much that you can do about the number of websites competing for the top positions, however your knowledge about these competing sites will give you an indication of how many hits you might be able to expect to get from your top ranked keyword.

Any keyword search can produce results that rank from a few, to thousands, to hundreds of thousands of results. Both the number and accuracy of those results will affect the click-thru rate of any listing. If you rank #5 out of 5 results, the chances of getting clicked are extremely great. If you rank #5 out of 500,000 results there is still a good chance of getting clicked but much less than in the first example. Consequently if all 500,000 of those results are extremely accurate to the searcher’s wishes the chances of your site getting clicked falls even further, not because of a lack of your own relevancy, but because of the greater relevancy from competing sites and the number of options to choose from. Also keep in mind that with most search engines today you are not just competing with the “editorial” results but also with pay-per-click or sponsored listings as well.

Focus on Branding
Any well branded name is likely to receive a larger portion of clicks than an non-branded name when both are found on the same search results page. If you sell shoes and rank on the same page as Foot Locker or Nike, those well known names will siphon a larger share of clicks from the rest of the sites listed on the results page regardless of their ranking. Of course not many businesses will get the same branding as Nike, Pepsi, or The Home Depot, however you can build branding for your own name by creating an eye-catching logo or business name. By doing so you create an impression on the searcher each time they see your business name or logo that remains with them and eventually they’ll return to on their own.

Focus on Search Engines That Matter
Not all search engines are created equal. Currently Google maintains the largest share of search hours and audience reach than any other search engine. For that reason a top listing in Google will generate more clicks than DogPile. The flip side of this is that many people will perform the same search on multiple search engines. Even if a searcher finds what he is looking for with the first search engine they will often try other engines just to get differing results.

Organize Potential Snippets
Many search engines no longer use the description provided in your code but will take snippets of text straight from your page. These snippets are usually several words before and after the keyword searched. It is important therefore be sure the text around your keywords are compelling. There is nothing less compelling than seeing a snippet that looks something like this: “Home Page | About Us Page | Keyword Page | Contact Us Page | Boring Page”.

Improve Position of Ranking
Of course the position of your ranking also plays a role in how many clicks any site receives through the search engines. A #1 ranking receives more clicks than a #5 ranking, which receives more than clicks than a #10 ranking, which receives more clicks than a #20 ranking, which receives more clicks than a #30 ranking. Don’t be fooled however, sites ranked at #107 still receive the occasional click-thru, usually by a very determined server who refuses to give up.

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

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